Is This Why Matthew Perry's Speech Was Slurred During The Friends Reunion?

Matthew Perry's name has been making headlines over the past month for multiple reasons. Of course, the big "Friends" reunion, which begins streaming on HBO Max this week is a primary reason why people are talking about the actor. Perry, who previously played the fan-favorite character Chandler Bing on the hit NBC series created a bit of controversy this week when he promoted his brand new line of merchandise, which was inspired by his iconic character (via New York Post). Some of the items Perry is selling include shirts that boast phrases such as "Could I Have Had A Longer Day?" He's even selling bandanas for dogs that read "Could I Be More Of A Dog?"

Recently, Perry modeled one of his shirts via his Instagram account. The piece of clothing was a black short-sleeved t-shirt that stated "Could I Be Any More Vaccinated?" While many fans loved the topical garment, others called out the actor for using the global COVID-19 pandemic for profit. "Making money from a t-shirt relating to vaccines is in bad taste. Could I BE any more annoyed," one social media user commented on the post. Perry fans will remember that the actor began advertising his clothing line back in December 2020, at which point he promised that proceeds would help the World Health Organization (via Twitter). The same hasn't been promised for his latest clothing drops. 

Meanwhile, the actor's merchandise line isn't the only controversy Perry has been dealing with as of late. Fans also called him out after he appeared to exhibit slurred speech in the "Friends” reunion promos.

Was dental work to blame for Perry's slurred speech?

According to The Sun, fans couldn't help but notice that Matthew Perry's speech was impaired during the "Friends" reunion. This immediately sparked concerns for Perry's health and sobriety. The actor has been open in the past about struggling with substance abuse. He previously admitted that he barely remembers filming three years of the show due to his dependency on drugs and alcohol. In 1997, he checked himself into rehab for the first time. However, he has served several stints in treatment since that time. His alcohol abuse has also caused serious health problems for the actor, including pancreatitis and gastrointestinal perforation.

It's also not the first time fans have worried about Matthew Perry's health. In 2016, after going on "The Graham Norton Show," watchers expressed shock about similarly strange speech patterns (via Business Standard). Sources tell The Sun that substance abuse is not to blame this time around. Instead, some emergency dental work is to blame for the situation. "Matthew turned up to the reunion and members of his team said that he had an emergency tooth procedure that day. That was said to impact his wellbeing and also how he was feeling. He had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech. Obviously, no one wants to film after a procedure, but it happened. The feeling was one of huge sympathy for Matthew especially in recent days given how people have reacted online. Matthew has told those around him that he is sober, and there is no need to worry." 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

This is what Matthew Perry had to say about his reunion experience

In 2016, around the time that fans started buzzing about Perry's speech patterns on "The Graham Norton Show," BBC reported that the actor had opted out of participating in a "Friends" reunion special. Don't remember it? Don't sweat it. A reviewer for The Guardian described it as "one of the most intensely boring two hours I have ever endured."

Five years later, and the full "Friends" cast succeeded in reuniting. Perry may well have been in pain after an emergency dental procedure, but from what we can tell, he enjoyed the experience. "We've had a wonderful couple of days, it's been very nostalgic and really just heartwarming couple of days," he told Entertainment Tonight (via Twitter). "Seeing the old set and seeing the crew and seeing the old guys ... it's a very loving group." In fact, Perry seems to have enjoyed the get-together so much that he told People that he'd encourage his younger self to "do an eleventh season." Perry, of course, may also be reeling after finding out that he and his on-screen love interest, Courtney Cox, are 11th cousins (via CNN). Genealogists recently told CNN that both are related to William Osbern Haskell III and Ellen Haskell, a married couple who lived in England 500 years ago. Is that enough of a plot twist to slur your speech?

Fans can see Perry reunite with his former co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer when the "Friends" reunion begins streaming on HBO Max on May 27.